Love actually?!

We look at all the things happening in Europe during operation “Protective Edge” – the protests, burning flags, boycotts, bans, removal of Kosher food from supermarkets etc., and we immediately classify all these goings on as “Antisemitism”.
Everybody hates the Jews, no one supports Israel and so on.
This feeling gets stronger when we see how Europeans treat Israel vs. other countries that seem to be doing much worse things.

But is it actually “Antisemitism”?
Are we looking at this in the right way?

There’s a famous sentence in the bible “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24), or to use the modern version “spare the rod, spoil the child”.

Freely translated this means you, as a parent, need to educate and discipline your son, and this is a sign of love.
Ask any educator, psychologist, or game show host and they’ll tell you it’s all about boundaries.
And while boundaries, and sometimes punishment, may seem harsh, they’re are an important part of education and growth of the individual.

Perhaps we should take this view when we look at what’s happening in Europe.

It’s not Antisemitism. It’s education.
We’re part of the family, and they’re trying to help us learn and grow as a nation.

Europe is telling us –
You’re the only democracy in the Middle East, you’re one of us, let us help you.
You’re the only country in the Middle East where people can freely protest their government and yell insults at it’s leaders, let us teach you.
You’re the only place in the Middle East where people of all faiths, denominations, and sexual orientation have rights, and we love you for it.

Why don’t we get it?
It’s love actually.

Sure there are some occasional Jew beatings in Europe, some attacks on Jewish institutions, but every society has some people with parenting problems.
Don’t let this minority confuse us. Just like parenting – there are some who go overboard and beat or abuse their children. They should be prosecuted, but that’s the exception, not the norm.

Most of the protesters love us, believe in us, and want us to succeed. They’re just trying to educate us, and set boundaries just like any loving family member would do.

For some of us, like myself Europe is actually family.
I was born in the UK, and use my UK passport.
My mother was born in Belgium, and my father is also UK born.
And I know some people yelled “Hiel Hitler” and “Dirty Jew” at me in Brussels – but those were just educational comments from loving family members.
I know a friend of mine was beaten in London, but as we said “He who spares his rod hates his son” – he just interpreted the word “rod” literally.

Now I know this is a very different way of looking at what’s going on in Europe, and I know this view may not be popular, but I think it provides a refreshing and open-minded way of looking at the situation.

But then I remembered that people shouted insults at me in Brussels quite a number of years ago, long before operation “Protective Edge”.
And I remembered my friend was attacked in London even before that.
And how can I forget the way Europe loved the Jews to death in the Holocaust.
And this “loving” happened when we were citizens of Europe, and when Israel didn’t even exist.
And my argument and fresh point of view fell apart, and I had to face the facts – Europe is awash with Antisemitism. It probably has been for years based on my personal experiences, and the experience of friends of mine.
What just became worse is that now Europeans don’t seem to feel ashamed about it.

About the Author
Yair Horovitz is just your average Israeli Hi-Tech family man, trying to balance work and life -- without much success so far.
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